It's hard to even summarize the past few surreal days in the GOPer presidential race. The Herman KochCain sexual harassment story is still evolving (as are his answers), but it obliterated the more immediately substantive story of improper campaign funding, involving the Kochs. Whether KochCain survives all this long enough to start losing primaries is still an open question, but it does look like the already tanking Cowboy Rick is done (despite all his money), since he stuck a fork in himself with his bizarre speech in New Hampshire. He was either drunk, high on something else or helplessly coming out. These guys are giving new meaning to the title of a 1980s book by Neil Postman: Entertaining ourselves to death.
Meanwhile Newt Romney has performed his most obvious flipflop to date, which gets no points for grace but full points for sheer effrontery. He merely states now that he has no idea what causes climate change, whereas just a few months he stated with the same baritone sincerity that he believes it's real, it's caused by human industry and cutting greenhouse gases is a responsible task. Yet it seems more likely than ever that he's going to be the GOPer nominee.
Folks handicapping the 2012 presidential race this far out are themselves engaged in entertainment only. If the American economy is currently hostage not only to souldead GOPers in Congress but to European politics or even Greek politics, there are just too many factors. However, pundits like Chris Matthews have narrowed the possibilities to a close election with either Obama or Romney winning, or a GOPer blowout. The one alternative off the table as far as they are concerned is an Obama landslide. Heh heh heh. You guys. Maybe Americans will be more mindlessly angry and scared than smart on election day 2012, but there is a clear path for the Obama campaign to turn this into a rout in their favor.
Who has a better chance to fix the economy? Most people agree with President Obama's ideas. All he needs is a Congress to pass stuff. Romney's ideas will make matters much worse, and most people know that. He's running as a slick Herbert Hoover. The contrast between President Obama and Romney could itself be decisive. What the polls say now is one thing. Pennsylvania for example went for Hillary over Obama in the primary, but they went for Obama in the general decisively. Two candidates. Pick one. After a campaign focused on the choice, this country could very well do what it did before: elect Obama in a landslide.
Beginner's Mind - Finding a very nice hardback copy of Bruce Chatwin's last book in a bargain bin, a kind of miscellany of previously uncollected pieces called What Am I Doi...
4 days ago